Thursday, July 01, 2010

Firsts on the 1st: New Series Characters Being Introduced in July 2010 Mysteries

New Hardcover Mysteries from the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books

The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books recently updated its list of July 2010 hardcover mysteries as well shelved new July paperbacks on The Mystery Bookshelf.

In this series of monthly posts, which we call Firsts on the 1st, we're introducing readers to new series characters who will make their mysterious debut during July.

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The Long Quiche Goodbye by Avery Aames
More information about the book

Title: The Long Quiche Goodbye
Author: Avery Aames
Series Character: Charlotte Bessette, Cheese Shop
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Charlotte Bessette is the owner of a cheese shop in Providence, Ohio.

Her first case: Welcome to the grand opening of Fromagerie Bessette. Or as it's more commonly known by the residents of small-town Providence, Ohio -- the Cheese Shop. Proprietor Charlotte Bessette has prepared a delightful sampling of bold Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, delicious tortes of Stilton and Mascarpone, and a taste of Sauvignon Blanc -- but someone else has decided to make a little crime of passion the piece de resistance. Right outside the shop Charlotte finds a body, the victim stabbed to death with one of her prized olive-wood handled knives.

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Delicious and Suspicious by Riley Adams
More information about the book

Title: Delicious and Suspicious
Author: Riley Adams
Series Character: Lulu Taylor
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Lulu Taylor is the owner of a rib eatery in Memphis (Tennessee).

Her first case: Rebecca Adrian came to Memphis to suss out the best local BBQ for a prominent Cooking Channel Show. Trouble is, a mystery ingredient has killed her -- and now all fingers are pointing to Aunt Pat's restaurant. Horrified that her family is being accused of murder, Lulu fires up her investigative skills to solve the crime before someone else gets skewered.

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The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree by Susan Wittig Albert
More information about the book

Title: The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree
Author: Susan Wittig Albert
Series Character: Darling Dahlias
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the characters: The Darling Dahlias are the garden club ladies of Darling, Alabama. The series is set during the Depression.

Their first case: The country may be struggling through the Great Depression, but the good ladies of Darling, Alabama, are determined to keep their chins up and their town beautiful. Their garden club, the Darling Dahlias, has just inherited a new clubhouse and garden, complete with two beautiful cucumber trees in full bloom.

But life in Darling is not all garden parties and rosemary lemonade.

When local blond bombshell Bunny Scott is found in a suspicious car wreck, the Dahlias decide to dig into the town's buried secrets, and club members Lizzy, Ophelia, and Verna soon find leads sprouting up faster than weeds. The town is all abuzz with news of an escaped convict from the prison farm, rumors of trouble at the bank, and tales of a ghost heard digging around the cucumber tree. If anyone can get to the root of these mysteries, it's the Darling Dahlias.

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The Grave Gourmet by Alexander Campion
More information about the book

Title: The Grave Gourmet
Author: Alexander Campion
Series Character: Capucine Le Tellier
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Capucine Le Tellier is a Paris police investigator.

Her first case: Capucine LeTellier is a Parisian detective specializing in white-collar crime, but longing for grittier work. She gets her wish when assigned to a high-profile case involving an automotive exec found murdered in the kitchen of a famed restaurant. Assigned to work with a trio of comical detectives, Capucine also enlists the aid of her food critic husband Alexandre and her inappropriately flirtatious cousin (and government agent) Jacques in cracking the case. From shady executives to the illicit trade in contraband delicacies to a powerful American agency with strong links to the CIA, this investigation is taking Capucine down some dangerous avenues -- while bringing her ever-closer to a dead end that could be her last ...

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LIVE Ringer by Lynda Fitzgerald
More information about the book

Title: LIVE Ringer
Author: Lynda Fitzgerald
Series Character: Allie Grainger
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Allie Grainger is an investigative reporter.

Her first case: When Allie Grainger inherits her aunt's Cape Canaveral beach house, she wants time to mourn her aunt's death and her own failed marriage, but she hasn't been back in town twenty-four hours before she stumbles on the body of a woman floating in the water at the Canaveral jetty. At first, it seems that the only thing that links the victim to Allie is her appearance. But when her police friends begin to connect the murder with a string of similar crimes up and down the coast of Florida, other similarities begin to emerge. They all were about the same age, blonde, and divorced. And they all looked like Allie. Three men enter Allie's life: one is a childhood friend all grown up and turned cop; another, the editor of the local paper; and the third is a stranger who shows up on the beach the day the body is found. Allie is pretty sure one of them is the killer, and she begins to suspect she might be his next target. Summoning up courage that surprises even her, Allie begins trying to discover the truth. But when the bullets start flying, Allie doesn't know which way to turn.

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Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint
More information about the book

Title: Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
Author: Shamini Flint
Series Character: Inspector Singh
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Inspector Singh is a police detective in Singapore.

His first case: Inspector Singh is in a bad mood. He’s been sent from his home in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur to solve a murder that has him stumped. Chelsea Liew—the famous Singaporean model—is on death row for the murder of her ex-husband. She swears she didn’t do it, he thinks she didn’t do it, but no matter how hard he tries to get to the bottom of things, he still arrives back at the same place—that Chelsea’s husband was shot at point blank range, and that Chelsea had the best motivation to pull the trigger: he was taking her kids away from her. Now Inspector Singh must pull out all the stops to crack a crime that could potentially free a beautiful and innocent woman and reunite a mother with her children. There’s just one problem—the Malaysian police refuse to play ball.

(MBN Note: Though new to US readers, the first Inspector Singh mystery was published last year in the UK. The third in the series was published this past April.)

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Blood Law by Jeannie Holmes
More information about the book

Title: Blood Law
Author: Jeannie Holmes
Series Character: Alexandra Sabian
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the character: Alexandra Sabian is a vampire in Jefferson, Mississippi. She is an Enforcer for the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigation.

Her first case: To stop a vampire killer, she’ll have to slay her own demons first.

A provocative and savvy vampire, Alexandra Sabian moves to the sleepy hamlet of Jefferson, Mississippi—population 6,000, half vampires—to escape the demons lurking in her past. As an enforcer for the Federal Bureau of Preternatural Investigations (FBPI), Alex must maintain the uneasy peace between her kind and humans, including Jefferson’s bigoted sheriff, who’d be happy to see all vampires banished from town. Then really dead vamps start turning up—beheaded, crucified, and defanged, the same gruesome manner in which Alex’s father was murdered decades ago. For Alex, the professional has become way too personal.

Things get even more complicated when the FBPI sends in some unnervingly sexy backup: Alex’s onetime mentor, lover, and fiancé, Varik Baudelaire. Still stinging from the betrayal that ended their short-lived engagement, Alex is determined not to give in to the temptation that soon threatens to short-circuit her investigation. But as the vamp body count grows and the public panic level rises, Varik may be Alex’s only hope to stop a relentless killer who’s got his own score to settle and his own bloody past to put right.

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The Drowning River by Christobel Kent
More information about the book

Title: The Drowning River
Author: Christobel Kent
Series Character: Sandro Cellini
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Sandro Cellini is a private investigator in Florence (Italy).

His first case: One wet November in Florence, the grieving widow of an eminent Jewish architect comes to visit Sandro Cellini, good husband, disgraced ex-policeman, and recently turned PI, to ask him to investigate her husband’s suicide. Cellini takes her on out of sympathy, although this first case makes a downbeat start to his new career. There seems no doubt that Claudio Gentileschi, a Holocaust survivor and lifelong depressive found drowned on a bleak stretch of the River Arno, did take his own life, and initially Cellini imagines that his only duty is to support the widow through her time of mourning.

But as Cellini doggedly retraces the architect’s last hours through the worst rains since the devastating floods of 1966, a young Englishwoman is found to have gone missing from the city’s community of hard-drinking, high-living art students, and Sandro’s search turns abruptly into something grimmer and more urgent than he could have imagined, as he uncovers a network of greed and corruption that is hidden under a veneer of tradition and refinement.

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The Mills of God by Deryn Lake
More information about the book

Title: The Mills of God
Author: Deryn Lake
Series Character: Nick Lawrence
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: Nick Lawrence is a newly appointed vicar in a village in Sussex.

His first case: The sleepy, eccentric Sussex village of Lakehurst suddenly becomes a place of terror and night shadows. After dark, it is hardly safe to go out, to the consternation of the newly arrived Vicar, trendy young Nick Lawrence, and Inspector Dominic Tennant of the Sussex Police Force. For a serial killer is on the loose: one who leaves notes at the scene of his crimes signed "The Acting Light of the World" ...

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Free Form Jazz by Lee Lamothe
More information about the book

Title: Free Form Jazz
Author: Lee Lamothe
Series Character: Ray Tate and Djuna Brown
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the characters: Ray Tate is a disgraced city cop and Djuna Brown is an outcast state trooper. The series is set in an unnamed Midwestern city.

Their first case: Disgraced city cop Ray Tate and outcast state trooper Djuna Brown track down a wealthy sexual sadist and a depressed career criminal flooding a Midwestern U.S. city with killer Ecstasy pills. Mismatched and mutually suspicious of each other, Tate and Brown hunt the mythic Captain Cook, a deranged criminal millionaire, and his henchman, the homicidal Phil Harvey. But as Captain Cook sinks deeper into a spiral of sexual depravity, Phil Harvey begins to question his role as a lifelong gangster.

Tate and Brown discover, as they sift through the rubble left by their targets, that no one is what they appear to be - not even themselves. Travelling through the Chinese underworld, clandestine drug laboratories, and biker-ridden badlands, the troubled duo encounter murder, political corruption, police paranoia, and psychosis, but can they find love and redemption, too?

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Friends of the Deceased by Dale Moore
More information about the book

Title: Friends of the Deceased
Author: Dale Moore
Series Character: Trials of Katrina
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Katrina owns a hair salon in Toronto.

Her first case: How does a small-town girl end up investigating crime at a funeral home in Toronto? Drop-dead gorgeous Katrina is trying to run her new salon and take her relationship to a new level. The unexpected death of a client and struggles with her salon lead her to the Shady Rest funeral home.

As she stumbles her way through the personal problems that plague her world, Katrina ends up immersed in the world of preparing people for the next world.

With the help of a ruggedly handsome police detective, some old friends, and a few new ones, will she get to the bottom of what s going on, or end up buried by it? One thing is certain when Katrina gets involved, chaos and comedy will ensue.

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The Pharos Objective by David Sakmyster
More information about the book

Title: The Pharos Objective
Author: David Sakmyster
Series Character: Morpheus Initiative
Format: Mass Market Paperback

What we know about the characters: The Morpheus Initiative is a team of psychic investigators led by Caleb Crowe.

Their first case: Driven by visions of his dead father, Professor Caleb Crowe reluctantly joins the Morpheus Initiative, a team of remote-viewing archaeologists determined to locate the remains of the seventh Wonder of the Ancient World—the Pharos Lighthouse—beneath which the legendary treasure of Alexander the Great is rumored to be hidden.

Crowe’s quest spans two thousand years of visionary history that connects the ashes of Herculaneum and the lost Library of Alexandria with a secret government program and ancient society called The Keepers.

To discover a threshold guarded by deadly traps and forgotten prophecies is one thing, but facing the truth about himself is something else altogether.

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A Touch of Murder by Valerie Stocking
More information about the book

Title: A Touch of Murder
Author: Valerie Stocking
Series Character: Samantha Kern
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Samantha Kern is a private investigator.

Her first case: One murder, eight suspects. One a desperate killer, determined to strike again.

Fledgling private eye Samantha Kern's life changes forever when she visits a spa for rest and recuperation following the death of her father. The peace of the surroundings is shattered when a special education teacher is found dying from a deadly dose of cyanide. Samantha must sift through clues, the lies, and the omissions of eight different women as she solves her first murder case.

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Par for the Course by Jennifer Vido
More information about the book

Title: Par for the Course
Author: Jennifer Vido
Series Character: Piper O'Donnell
Format: Trade Paperback

What we know about the character: Piper O'Donnell is a wealthy country club widow and amateur sleuth.

Her first case: Piper O’Donnell finds herself embroiled in a suburban nightmare when her wealthy older husband is mysteriously murdered and she is implicated. Although golfing with the ladies is the hottest game in town, Piper finds her own “hottie” Rusty O’Brien to help soothe her broken heart. When a scandalous affair is revealed and the suspect list begins to grow, romance kicks into overdrive as Piper and Rusty team up to find the murderer before he or she strikes again. Will this match made in the cornfields solve this mystery or has Piper just taken her very last swing?

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The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi
More information about the book

Title: The Messenger of Athens
Author: Anne Zouroudi
Series Character: The Greek Detective
Format: Hardcover

What we know about the character: The Greek Detective is private investigator Hermes Diaktoros.

His first case: Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched and untroubled by the modern world. So when the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police -- governed more by archaic rules of honor than by the law -- are quick to close the case, dismissing her death as an accident.

Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to investigate further into the crime he believes has been committed. Refusing to accept the woman's death as an accident or suicide, Hermes Diaktoros sets out to uncover the truths that skulk beneath this small community's exterior.

Hermes's methods of investigation are unorthodox, and his message to the islanders is plain -- tell the truth or face the consequences. Before long, he's uncovering a tale of passion, corruption and murder that entangles many of the island's residents. But Hermes brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies -- and as he travels the rugged island landscape to investigate, questions and suspicions arise amongst the locals. Who has sent him to Thiminos, and on whose authority is he acting? And how does he know of dramas played out decades ago?

(MBN Note: Another new series for US readers, the first Greek Detective mystery was published in 2007 in the UK. There are currently three books in the series.)

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For a list of more mysteries scheduled for publication during July, please visit our New Mysteries home page. If you're interested in new paperbacks, visit The Mystery Bookshelf, where you can discover a library of new mysteries, also updated with July 2010 releases.

Please also visit the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books where we are committed to providing readers and collectors of mystery books with the best and most current information about their favorite authors, titles, and series.

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